ORLANDO—SpringHill Suites and Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Orlando at SeaWorld are continuing their commitment to a gold standard guest experience, with their newly earned Certified Autism Center designations. Both hotels completed a certification program from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to ensure staff have the training, tools and skills needed to work with guests with autism or other sensory needs. This hotel duo joins their neighboring partners and fellow Certified Autism Centers SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando, and Discovery Cove to become an inclusive destination for all.
Families with children on the autism spectrum often face hurdles when it comes to planning for a vacation, or weekend getaway, due to sensory needs, dietary restrictions, and safety concerns. The commitment to ensuring every guest that enters the premises receives the best possible experience aligns perfectly with the values of Marriott International.
“All of us at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott and Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Orlando at SeaWorld are committed to creating a brilliant and memorable experience for each and every one of our guests every day. We are excited to be in the first group of hotels in Orlando, Florida, to become autism certified and be able to best serve individual guests with autism. This partnership is important to the families that stay with us, but also embraces the Marriott culture of taking care of others,” said Michael Wilke, Dual General Manager, “This effort hits close to home for me as two of my family members have autism. I am proud to bring light and dedicate my time to serving those with special needs.”
Training Specifically for Travel Industry
For almost 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in autism and cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare professionals and educators around the globe. IBCCES recognized that many families and individuals who have special needs have limited travel options. In response to this need, IBCCES created training and certification programs specifically for the hospitality and travel industry. While research shows that travel is one of the most intellectually stimulating events for individuals on the autism spectrum, there are still few trained and certified travel options for parents looking for destinations able to accommodate their needs. More parents are seeking out destinations that have completed research-based training and professional review as they search for options.
“We’re excited to work with another SeaWorld of Orlando partner that is fully committed to serving guests on the autism spectrum,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman, “We know training and certification from an established credentialing board is critical to ensuring a positive guest experience and we’re excited to see these organizations working together to create a seamless welcoming and fun experience for visitors.”
IBCCES also created AutismTravel.com, a free online resource for parents that lists certified destinations and connects families to other resources and each other. Each destination listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center (CAC) requirements.